UNECE Standard DDP concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of whole dried chilli peppers
Submitted by Mexico
This document has been prepared following the decision of the Working Party to initiate work on a new standard for whole dried chilli peppers (ECE/TRADE/C/WP.7/2007/27, paragraph 32). It is the revised version of document ECE/TRADE/C/WP.7/2008/4.
I. Definition of produce
This Standard applies to whole dried chilli peppers of varieties (cultivars) grown from Capsicum annuum L., intended for direct consumption or for food when they are intended to be mixed with other products for direct consumption without further processing. This Standard does not apply to whole dry chilli peppers for industrial processing.1
Commercial types of whole dried chilli peppers include: ancho, de árbol, guajillo, mulato, pasilla and puya.
The purpose of the Standard is to define the quality requirements of whole dried chilli peppers at the export-control stage, after preparation and packaging.
However, if applied at stages following export, the holder shall be responsible for observing the requirements of the standard. The holder/seller of products not in conformity with this standard may not display such products or offer them for sale, or deliver or market them in any other manner.
A. Minimum requirements2
In all classes, subject to the special provisions for each class and the tolerances allowed, the whole dried pepper must display the following characteristics:
intact; however, slight superficial damage is not considered as a defect
sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded
clean, practically free of any visible foreign matter
sufficiently developed and with attached peduncle
shape and colour characteristic of chilli types, in accordance with section “D. Colour”3
free from living pests whatever their stage of development
free from damage caused by pests, including the presence of dead insects and/or mites, their debris or excreta
free from blemishes, areas of discolouration or spread stains in pronounced contrast with the rest of the produce affecting in aggregate not more than 5 per cent of the surface of the produce
free from mould filaments visible to the naked eye
free of abnormal external moisture
free of foreign smell and/or taste;
The condition of the whole dried chillies must be such as to enable them:
to withstand transportation and handling
to arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination.
B. Moisture content 4
The whole dried chilli peppers shall have different moisture content depending on the type, based on the following designations.
Maximum moisture content in % (m/m)
In accordance with the defects allowed in section “IV. Provisions concerning tolerances”, whole dried chilli peppers are classified into the following class(es):
“Extra” Class, Class I and Class II
The defects allowed must not affect the general appearance of the produce as regards quality, keeping quality and presentation in the package.
[Colour requirement for whole dried chillies is mandatory, depending on the commercial type, based on the colours defined below:]
Verification of pungency is optional. In case of verification, pungency must be analyzed in the Scoville scale by the method of high performance resolution liquid chromatography (HPLC)1. The commercial types are characterized by the following complying with the next parameters:
(Scoville units5 )
1 000 – 1 500
1 000 – 1 500
1 000 – 1 500
3 000 – 5 000
5 000 – 30 000
5 000 – 30 000
III. Provisions concerning sizing
Sizing of whole dried chilli peppers is mandatory for “Extra” Class and Class I.
Size is determined by the length (measure from the apex of the fruit without considering the peduncle.
Uniformity in size is determined according to the following table:
10 – 14
8 – 10
7 – 10
7 – 10
7 – 10
Extra or “Flower”
14 – 20
9 – 11
9 – 11
[IV. Provisions concerning tolerances
12. Tolerances in respect of quality and size shall be allowed in each lot for produce not satisfying the requirements of the class indicated.
A. Quality tolerances
percentage of defective produce, by number or weight
(a) Tolerances for produce not satisfying the minimum requirements, Of which no more than
For produce not conforming to the size indicated, if sized
(c) Tolerances for other defects
Missing stems and broken fruit
Foreign matter (by weight)
Foreign matter of plant material
Whole dried chilli peppersbelonging to commercial types other than that indicated
V. Provisions concerning presentation
The contents of each package must be uniform and contain only whole dried chilli peppers of the same origin, quality, colour, size (if sized) and commercial type.
The visible part of the contents of the package must be representative of its entire contents.
Whole dried chilli peppers must be packed in such a way as to protect the produce properly.
The materials used inside the package must be clean and of a quality such as to avoid causing any external or internal damage to the produce. The use of materials, particularly of paper or stamps bearing trade specifications, is allowed, provided the printing or labelling has been done with non toxic ink or glue.
Packages must be free of all foreign matter in accordance with the table of tolerances in section “IV. Provisions concerning tolerances”.
VI. Provisions concerning marking
18. Each package6 must bear the following particulars in letters grouped on the same side, legibly and indelibly marked and visible from the outside:
19. Packer and/or Dispatcher: Name and physical address (e.g. street/city/region/postal code and, if different from the country of origin, the country) or a code mark officially recognized by the national authority7.
B. Nature of produce
“whole dried chilli peppers”
name of the commercial type
method of drying (optional)
C. Origin of produce
country of origin and, optionally, district where grown or national, regional or local place name.
D. Commercial specifications
size (if sized; expressed in accordance with section III)
“Best before” followed by the date (optional).
E. Official control mark (optional)
Commonly used terminology for whole dried chillies
Fruits have a conical shape, with sizes that vary in longitude and width. The base of the insertion of the peduncle can be flat or with indented shoulders; the body is generally flattened; the apex is pointed or round, and presents from two to four loculi. Its production as dry pepper is achieved mostly by artificially dehydrating the fruits, although a large part of this type of chilli is commercialized fresh.
De árbol chilli:
Small fruits, with a uniform intense or dark red coloration, with no discoloration, cylindrical, with a shape prominently long and pointed, characterized by their high pungency.
Also known as mirasol. Generally, it is long, with a sharp end; its body is cylindrical, smooth and with slight undulations. It has two to three locules; its position is hanging, even when there are some variants with erected fruits. This type of chilli is moderately pungent and its commercial production is in its majority dried in the plant in a natural way.
With a shape similar to the ancho chilli, it has the same variation in the growth habit and shape of the fruit, but generally less pungent. The basic difference with ancho chilli is the colour, which is dark brown when ripe and blackish brown once it is dehydrated.
Fruit with a long undulated body that ends in a flat or pointed apex; it presents from two to three loculi. Its production is mainly destined for dehydrating, with a small amount consumed fresh.
Elongated fruit, medium size, smaller than mirasol chillies and bigger than de árbol chillies, with a uniform intense red or dark red colour, with no discoloration. Its production is dehydrated mainly in a natural way in the plant before use in salsas. After the de árbol chilli, it is considered highly pungent.
Dried chilli (Dehydrated):
Fruit that has undergone a process of water loss by natural or artificial means.
Compounds responsible for the pungent or hot flavour in the chillies. The main and most pungent of all capsaicinoids is the Capsaicin, which is found in the seeds and placenta of the peppers.
Small chamber or cavity of the fruit that is formed by the arranging of the walls of the ovary; it is observed by making a transversal cut.
All material or substance different to that which constitutes the fruit and the peduncle. This includes: stalks, dirt, sand, stones, waste, wires, cords, foreign seeds, dust and leaves, as well as insect debris.
Sharp or intense sensation caused by the effect of the capsaicins after the ingestion of chilli or its sub-products.
Whole dehydrated chillies - Examples of colour and visual quality
EXTRA CLASS OR FLOWER
DE ÁRBOL PEPPER
DOES NOT APPLY
ISO 972: 1997: Chillies and capsicums, whole or ground (powdered) - Specifications.
ISO 930: 1997: Spices and condiments - Determination of acid-insoluble ash
ISO 3513:1995 Chillies - Determination of Scoville index Edition: 2
ISO 7543-1 Chillies and chilli oleoresins - Determination of total capsaicinoid content - Part 1: Spectrometric method
ISO 7543-2 Chillies and chilli oleoresins - Determination of total capsaicinoid content - Part 2: Method using high-performance liquid chromatography
Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias. Centro de Investigación Regional del Noreste. Campo Experimental Palma de la Cruz. Nuevas Variedades del Chile Mirasol para el Centro Norte de México. Folleto Técnico Nro. 21, Marzo 2001.
Pozo Campodónico, Octavio. Descripción de Tipos y Cultivares de Chile (Capsicum spp.) en México. Secretaría de Agricultura y Recursos Hidráulicos/Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (SARH/INIA). Folleto Técnico Nro. 77, Octubre 1981.
2 Definitions of terms and defects are listed in annex III of the Standard Layout – Recommended terms and definition of defects for standards of dry (Inshell Nuts and Nut Kernels) and dried produce .
3 For examples of colour and visual quality, see annex II.
4 The moisture content is determined by the method given in annex I of the Standard Layout – Determination of the moisture content for dried produce . The laboratory reference method shall be used in cases of dispute.
5 The Scoville scale is a system to measure the pungency in chillies. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can also be used to measure content of capsaicin in chillies.
6 Package units of produce prepacked for direct sale to the consumer shall not be subject to these marking provisions, but shall conform to national requirements. However, the markings referred to shall in any event be shown on the transport packaging containing such package units.
7 The national legislation of a number of countries requires the explicit declaration of the name and address. However, in cases where a code mark is used, the reference “packer and/or dispatcher” (or equivalent abbreviations) must be indicated in close connection with the code mark, and the code mark should be preceded by the ISO 3166 alpha country code of the recognizing country, if not the country of origin.